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    Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism

    In education there are several theories that are used in the field. Many educators use the three most popular theories on a daily basis at any given time in a class.  These theories can be documented back to the era of Aristotle.  The three popular theories are Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism. Behaviorism is the theory that describes learning is due to an observable change in behavior. The behaviors are sometimes learned in the process. In this theory, the learners observe the information, practice the information and then receive reinforcement through praise. The classic example of behaviorism is when Pavlov used classic conditioning to investigate the digestive system of dogs. Pavlov conditioned the dogs to react to the sound of a tuning fork. The tuning fork be
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    Direct Instruction

    Direct Instruction is an approach to teaching. It is skills-oriented, and the teaching practices it implies are teacher-directed. It emphasizes the use of small-group, face to-face instruction by teachers and aides using carefully articulated lessons in which cognitive skills are broken down into small units, sequenced deliberately, and taught explicitly (See Carnine, 2000, pp. 5-6; Traub, 1999). Direct Instruction derives mainly from two lines of scholarship and curriculum development. One line of scholarship is based on a synthesis of findings from experimental studies (conducted by many different researchers, working independently, mostly in the 1980s) in which teachers were trained to use particular instructional practices. These practices then were assessed for their effects on stud
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    Theories Related to Learning and Higher Order Thinking Skills

    No one has yet explained the process of thinking much better than Dewey (1933), who described it as a sequenced chaining of events. According to Dewey, this productive process moves from reflection to inquiry, then to critical thought processes that, in turn, lead to a conclusion that can be substantiated (p. 5) by more than personal beliefs and images. Thought can straighten out entanglements, clear obscurities, resolve confusion, unify disparities, answer questions, define problems, solve problems, reach goals, guide inferences, shape predictions, form judgments, support decisions, and end controversies. According to Dewey, thinking does not occur spontaneously but must be evoked by problems and questions or by some perplexity, confusion or doubt. The observations or data at hand cann
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    Cooperative Learning

    Cooperative learning is a teaching technique that brings students together to learn in small, heterogeneous groups. In these groups, students work interdependently without constant and direct supervision from the teacher. Assignments are structured so that everyone contributes. Challenges as well as rewards are shared. Brainstorming, lively discussion, and collaboration are the hallmarks of the cooperative-learning classroom. What Its Not Cooperative learning is not the same as ability grouping, where a teacher divides up the class in order to instruct students with similar skills. Cooperative learning is not having students sit side by side at the same table to talk while they complete individual assignments. Cooperative learning is not assigning a task to a group in which one studen
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    Experiments in Physics Instruction

    We propose that in the history of physics most of classical experiments fall into one of three groups: observational experiments, testing theoretical model experiments, and application experiments. Initial observational experiments occur when physicists study an unknown phenomenon, they help develop a new model. For example observations of the behavior of gases in the 17th century, observations of the spectra of gases in the 19th century, or Becquerels observations of a photographic paper wrapped around uranium-laden cross. Before physicists conducted these experiments, they could not make theoretical predictions of what was going to happen. Testing experiments are usually conducted to test or disprove a certain hypothesis, idea, or a prediction. For example Hertz’s experiments te
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    Virtual Learning Environment

    A virtual learning environment (VLE) is a system that creates an environment designed to facilitate teachers in the management of educational courses for their students, especially a system using computer hardware and software, which involves distance learning. In North America, a virtual learning environment is often referred to as a “learning management system” (LMS). A computer simulation which enables essential functions of laboratory experiments to be carried out on a computer is called a virtual laboratory (VL). Two major conceptions of this idea can be differentiated: a) In the first constellation an experiment is replaced by a computer model. The experiment therefore takes place in the form of a simulation. Recently, virtual laboratories have emerged above all on the
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    Inquiry-Based Learning

    Scope Statement, “Inquiry helps kids to think creatively. When you capture their imagination they begin to think creatively and creativity solves problems for life.” (http://tlcenter.wikispaces.com/Inquiry+Learning) Inquiry-based learning is a natural human activity in which the learner obtains meaning from experience. Traditionally, inquiry has been most readily associated with the sciences, yet it has been employed in many other fields of study as well (Martinello 1998). John-Steiner (1985) showed how creative people in the arts and sciences recall their ways of thinking. Whether implicit or implied, specific or general, all inquiries are driven by questions, issues, and wonderings. Over the past century, it has been implemented as a useful and definite approach to teaching
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    Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

    Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject in the context of complex, multifaceted, and realistic problems . The goals of PBL are to help the students develop flexible knowledge, effective problem solving skills, self-directed learning, effective collaboration skills and intrinsic motivation. Working in groups, students identify what they already know, what they need to know, and how and where to access new information that may lead to resolution of the problem. The role of the instructor (known as the tutor in PBL) is that of facilitator of learning who provides appropriate scaffolding and support of the process, modelling of the process, and monitoring the learning. The tutor must build students confidence to take on the
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    Teaching Strategies For Higher Order Thinking Skills

    Some fundamental principles of learning should guide all teaching strategies, whether focused on higher order or lower order thinking. The American Psychological Association (APA) summarized recent changes in perspectives on learning in a report entitled Learner-Centered Psychological Principles: Guidelines for School Redesign and Reform (Presidential Task Force on Psychology in Education, cited in Kauchak & Eggen, 1998). These principles suggest that learning is a very individual activitygoals and learning tasks that are meaningful for one teacher or learner may not be meaningful for another. In the learning process, individuals seek coherent representations of knowledge that both fit into what they already know and also have future usefulness. How well they progress depends i


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